(dpa) - An airstrike by international forces killed at least three armed militants in southern Afghanistan, while coalition forces killed several militants and detained four others in a second raid in the same region, officials said on Thursday.
A group of militants was spotted by an international military aircraft in Arghandab district of Kandahar province on Wednesday, said Amanullah Khan, a police official in the province.
"The aircraft attacked the insurgents and according to the information we got from the area, three armed militants were killed," he said.
Meanwhile US-led coalition forces said that their forces killed several Taliban militants during a search operation in Kajaki district of Helmand province, the US military said in a statement.
The firefight began after insurgents attacked the combined forces with small arms fire during a search operation against a Taliban leader who was suspected of conducting weapons facilitation activities in the region, the statement said.
"The attacking insurgents were killed by Coalition Forces responding in self-defence," it said, adding that four men with suspected links with insurgents were also detained.
The country's southern provinces are the main strongholds for the Taliban insurgents, whose government was toppled in a US-led military invasion in 2001. Afghanistan witnessed its bloodiest year in 2007 with more than 8,000 people - mostly insurgents - killed.